AFI Silver Theatre

8633 Colesville Road,
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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HowardBHaas on December 31, 2021 at 2:53 pm

I added my photo of the 2014 70mm leaflet which does not mention L of A or West Side Story. The theater closed in March 2020 due to Covid, for the rest of the year.

MSC77 on December 31, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Here’s the link to an article on 70mm presentations in the Washington, DC region which has been updated to include AFI Silver’s 70mm screenings.

Obviously the piece will need to be further revised to account for the upcoming “Licorice Pizza” run. Let us know, please, if you believe additional omissions or corrections are needed.

Mikeoaklandpark on December 31, 2021 at 12:56 pm

I find the marquee very interesting

JodarMovieFan on December 30, 2021 at 10:32 pm

Licorice is opening 1/1 in 70mm but with one measly 6:15 pm 70mm showing. Rest of the shows are DP.As of this writing, no other 70mm showings. Very strange.

JodarMovieFan on October 1, 2019 at 3:36 pm

Joker is opening here Thu in 70mm. Its a rarity to have the AFI run a more commercial movie here with the 20 screen & Imax Lite Regal just around the corner. With so much bad news reported these days, I don’t know about a dark film and judging from the trailer, a dark character study and probably an acting (insert award title) nomination for sure.

JodarMovieFan on July 3, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Too late for me, rl. I wanted to catch at least one of the films but couldn’t. Oh well. Maybe they’ll have the films again prior to the Dec opening of the ‘last’ Star Wars film.

Looking at the current summer programming roster, nothing really worth seeing. With 35 yr and 25 yr and older retrospectives, I can think of many good films from ‘94 and '84 they could have that are worth experiencing on the big screen here.

rl_83 on June 30, 2019 at 2:36 pm

The photos on Film-Tech list an SA10 for the Historic theatre. That’s the EX decoder.

JodarMovieFan on April 10, 2019 at 12:26 am

Star Wars fans..the complete saga is being shown here for one long weekend starting 5/3. I’m wondering why they don’t do this closer to the last film coming out this December. It will still be the 20th anniversary of the start of the middle trilogy.

I don’t recall #1 having EX, yes it has the THX..almost audio nirvana. What I’m wondering if Episode 2 will show here with the same aural power as I remember watching it at the Senator and at the Annapolis Mall in DP. The scene I’m talking about is when Jango Fett sets off those weapons against Obi Wan in the asteroid field with that super loud BONNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG. The visual and sound effects are so powerful that you almost weave and bop in tune with the ships navigating avoiding the bombs and asteroids. Then there’s the low, but powerful woooosh of Windu’s light saber just before the Jedi knight fight in the arena.

I remember the last time they had the SW movies here they were sell outs. I suspect this will be the same. Its too bad, they couldn’t get someone, or production staff, from some of the movies for a Q&A ala the 2001 retrospective in recent years.

moviebuff82 on November 20, 2018 at 3:20 pm

if you want the full experience at home, get the 4k bluray. From what i heard, both the bluray and the 4k bluray have the sound mix sourced from 70mm six track elements. The 2001 special edition DVD’s sound mix was remixed for the release.

JodarMovieFan on November 20, 2018 at 2:43 pm

I hear you, Mark. When they had 2001 in the summer, I’d like to think they did well. The last day was sold out as I noted above. They booked again in the fall. If they build and advertise it well, I’m sure people will come (like me). I’ve read the one 70mm Superman print in circulation is pink now. I’d like to experience the title sequence in its full screen 6 track glory at least one time. :)

markp on November 20, 2018 at 6:24 am

Most likely the point is money. I see it all the time at the one venue where I am a projectionist. Cost $250.00 to ship a 35MM print. Cost $4.95 to get a digital copy. And Im sure to ship 70MM must cost a fortune. Plus anybody can start can digital. You need people who know what they are doing to run 70MM.

JodarMovieFan on November 20, 2018 at 12:39 am

Vertigo and Rosemary Baby bookings for their respective anniversaries. But no Superman? It turns 40 next month! Vertigo deserves the restored 70mm DTS version, not the 4K. Whats the point?

JodarMovieFan on October 11, 2018 at 11:25 am

I’ve been saying the same thing for the last few years. I don’t think they’ve gotten rid of all their projectionists. I thought they had one for those rare 70mm shows. I remember one of the last bookings they only played 70mm on the weekends, thinking they ran digital or some automated showing on the weekdays when attendance is lower.

rl_83 on October 9, 2018 at 11:47 am

“ I’m wondering why this year they hardly had any 70mm anything. I know we’re not in Hollywood and have easy access to the film archives and all that but when I see Portland and some of these other places having more 70mm, I’m jealous. This isn’t right. This is the AFI! ”

Maybe it has something to do with getting rid of their projectionists, or so I read back a few pages. Perhaps the studios won’t let them run prints anymore and they are going to subject their viewers to a diet of digital-only going forward.

Giles on September 1, 2018 at 12:20 am

‘2001’ – the IMAX DCP is now over at the Lockheed intown Air & Space IMAX screen

JodarMovieFan on August 31, 2018 at 8:28 pm

Howard, so true.

Peter, so this Nolan supervised ‘new’ 70mm print taken from the 65mm original negative, to use a Trumpism…was an ‘alternative fact?’:) GRRR.

Giles had mentioned the IMAX version was at the Chantilly Smithsonian the previous week. I was thinking about attending that to compare but didn’t have the time to check it out. I hope it makes the rounds again to check out (the IMAX version).

PeterApruzzese on August 31, 2018 at 9:39 am

The new “unrestored” 70mm prints are from an IP made in 1999 and are not good at all – baked-in dirt, negative tears, faded color, scratches, etc. The new 4K DCP (and the IMAX derivative) is from a new cleaned-up scan of the original film elements; it is stunning and is the current definitive version of 2001 for large screens.

HowardBHaas on August 31, 2018 at 8:27 am

I’ve noticed just about everything here seems to be shown these days in digital, with the rare exceptions of the 70mm screenings. That’s disappointing!

JodarMovieFan on August 31, 2018 at 12:18 am

Hooray for me. I caught the last showing of 2001 this evening. This time I bought tickets online to avoid the mess from last time. Turnout was surprisingly decent for a weeknight showing. I guestimate about 200 spread out the Grand Theater.

The theater advertises fresh made Whole Food sandwiches and other items. Unfortunately, they were all sold out. This is ridiculous for a 7:30 pm show. And they stopped selling my favorite stuffed pretzels. And I ain’t paying no $10 for a Costco sized dog that Costco sells for $1.50. Instead, I paid $5 for one oversized cookie and a bag of super crunchy chips. Its funny in that the guy next to me also had chips and as anyone who has seen the film knows its mostly quiet. You can hear audience movement, coughs and whatnot. So he and I were careful to quietly chew our extra crunchy chips, stop when the soundtrack was dead silent and resume chewing when it got loud. :)

Excellent showmanship. They discontinued the slide show and closed the curtain promptly at 7:30pm while the overture or entrance music began. There were some film detracting artifacts such as a sudden drop out as if the film had been trimmed at the beginning of the Dawn of Man scenes. Spotting and lines in certain places led me to believe the film has been shown quite a bit and probably mishandled. Intermission started at 9pm and the show resumed about 15 minutes later. Curtain closed. Audience clapped at the end. After the credits, while many still sat in their seats, curtain closed. ^5s.

Thinking about the ‘experience,’ I have to say it was less than I hoped. While its always great to see a classic on the BIG screen, with a decent audience, there were some other detractions. The color seemed less vibrant from what I thought was a first generation print. For example, the close ups of Dave Bowman. The guy has big BIG BLUE eyes. We’re not talking exaggerated digital blue like Chris Pine in the IMAX-lite Star Trek reboots here. They looked more light blue. My memory of the virgin print from the Uptown viewing from 1990 was more engaging..this is aside from the superior w-i-d-e screen at the theater. BUT..what I did notice this time (for the first time probably) were the red blood veins in Bowman’s eyes.

Another color detraction were the ship monitor readouts as Hal kills the scientists in stasis. The colors looked faded and not properly contrast and sharp. Maybe I’m wrong but I had thought the readouts filled the entire screen not boxed. The sound effect had a less than vibrant piercing beep beep..beep beep. Or, maybe my hearing has, um..lossed some sensitivity after years of THX/Dolby Digital/DTS abuse. :)

On the positive side, in one of the moon shots, there appeared more ‘texture’ than what I remember from before. The space suits by the Discovery looked more blood orange then orange than I recall. Since this print was supposedly made from the original negative would I be correct to assume this was the original intent?

I didn’t spend much time looking at the exhibits, but I did take a minute or two to marvel at the decorations and interior designs and how well things seem to have held up since its reopening some 15 years or so ago.

If Spartacus were shown here in 70mm for the Kubrick retrospective, I would have driven back for it. But for DCP, not so much interest. Might as well see it at home.

Giles on August 11, 2018 at 11:45 am

JodarMovieFan, the AFI must have updated their website, but the return of ‘2001’ is a week long engagement. not one show. The 4K restoration in DCP form will be over at the Lockheed Martin IMAX screen at Air & Space (and at Udvar Hazy).

HowardBHaas on August 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm

JodarMovieFan, current 70mm film festival at Museum of Moving Image in NYC. In 2013, I saw the digital Hello, Dolly! as part of the 70mm film festival at AFI Silver, but the actual 70mm print will be in Queens this weekend. The following weekend, 70mm print of Cleopatra, another 70mm print that I don’t think was shown at AFI Silver. And, other films in 70mm.

JodarMovieFan on August 9, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Looking at the AFI Silver’s page, they’ve got 2001 booked for only ONE day, Fri 8/24, with just two showings. I figured they would try to get it back especially with the current Kubrick film retrospectives.

I’m wondering why this year they hardly had any 70mm anything. I know we’re not in Hollywood and have easy access to the film archives and all that but when I see Portland and some of these other places having more 70mm, I’m jealous. This isn’t right. This is the AFI!

Giles on July 13, 2018 at 4:42 pm

There were a couple of instances of very minor print damage. Prior prints I saw had the blackness of space shots look ultra deep and inky. The quick overhead shots of the shuttle zipping over the moon’s landscape had a very 3D-esque layer effect, that wasn’t apparent in this newer version. On the plus side, this time around, I was really trying to take note of the five front channel (6-track) mix and it was very exemplary.

HowardBHaas on July 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Giles, what was less about this 2001 screening than priors? I’ve seen it in 70mm at Uptown in year 2001, and Seattle Cinerama in 2013, both awesome screenings.

Giles on July 13, 2018 at 4:11 pm

that’s too bad you missed out on the last screening Jodar, I saw this last Friday with a 14 year old family member, he really dug the whole Frank/Dave/HAL sequence of the movie; ‘The Dawn of Man’ sequence he kind of nodded out. As usual for this type of presentation, great use of the curtains and a twenty minute intermission. Of the prior 70mm presentations I’ve seen ‘2001’ here at the AFI Silver, this wasn’t the ‘best’ but regardless, it’s a treat and necessity to see this in 70mm and the Silver delivered.